Jennifer Goetz has considered the notion that the right-out-of-college job she accepted Monday morning was crafted specifically for her.
"A couple of people have said that," Goetz said. "Once this opened up, I was like, wow, could there be a more perfect job?"
After a Hall of Fame high school career, followed by an all-America stint at St. Ambrose that led to a graduate assistant opportunity, the early part of Goetz's hoops career has come full circle with her hiring as the girls basketball coach at Davenport Assumption.
"Excited is the best word you can use," Goetz said. "I'm ready for this next step of my life."
Like most students preparing to leave school - Goetz, 24, receives her master's degree this week - she was on the job hunt when Todd Borrison took the coaching job at Southeast Polk four Mondays ago, ending his nine-year tenure with the Knights.
"Head coaching at a Catholic institution, I've gone to Catholic school for 19 years of my life," Goetz said. "I love the Quad-City area ... (Assumption's) not even a mile away from St. Ambrose. I'm just blessed this door opened up at this time."
An all-Midwest Collegiate Conference pick all four of her playing years, Goetz stayed with the Queen Bees, assisting coach Nate Altenhofen the past three seasons.
"She has been absolutely terrific for the St. Ambrose women's basketball team, both as a player and a coach," Altenhofen said. "I've really enjoyed these past few years and everything that Jen has provided both me and the university.
"She is, absolutely, 100 percent ready," Altenhofen added. "She will do an outstanding job at Assumption."
Goetz was a 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound performer in her collegiate and high school careers. She became the first Iowa high school girls player to reach both pinnacles while at Cardinal Stritch High School in Keokuk, and she was inducted into the Iowa Girls Basketball High School Athletic Union Hall of Fame in March.
"I loved playing the game of basketball just about more than anyone, and I love coaching it more," Goetz said. "I love giving back to the game that has given me so much.
"Something I will put first and foremost," Goetz continued, "is to teach kids not only Xs and Os, but life lessons that will help them become successful young leaders as well."
The school hopes to offer Goetz a full-time teaching position, but terms had not been worked out as of Monday.
St. Ambrose went 91-43 with Goetz playing and 73-25 with her as a graduate assistant. Assumption is no stranger to success, having made the state tournament six of the past seven seasons.
"In both situations, I've been involved in extremely successful basketball programs," Goetz said. "It's not like I'm walking into a program that's struggling for wins. They're at the top, and I love the challenge."